Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Remembering Gerald Ford

In remembering President Gerald Ford and the circumstances that made him the nation's 38th president, Eric Muller at Is That Legal? recommends the book 31 Days by Barry Werth. For the broader context, there is Stanley Kutler, Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon.

Meanwhile, the Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that academics will remember Ford for taking "several steps early in his presidency to extend a welcoming hand to academics and other bitter critics of Mr. Nixon's policies who had felt alienated from the White House. Mr. Ford suspended registration for the military draft and started a program to give clemency to people who had resisted it during the Vietnam War." However, "In that and other respects, Mr. Ford's legacy, for both academe and American society in general, was more symbolic than substantive."

And, of course, an enduring legacy of the Ford presidency is the long tenure of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, nominated by President Ford to replace William O. Douglas in 1975.

Update: SCOTUS Blog has an interesting post on Ford and the Court, here.

Another update: Michael Dorf calls Stevens "Ford's greatest legacy" in this post.